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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has announced the creation of the California Institute for Climate Solutions (CICS). The group's mission includes developing practical technological solutions and support to foster development of policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electric and natural gas sectors.

"California leads the nation in aggressively battling global warming with our policies to reduce greenhouse gases and our ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy goals," says Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif

The work of the CICS will be directed by a strategic plan that will identify potential areas of research, maximize consumer benefit and minimize unnecessary redundancy. A governing board, co-chaired by the CPUC president and the University of California president, will be responsible for ensuring that the institute fulfills its mission.

A strategic research committee chosen by the governing board will be responsible for three main tasks: developing a strategic plan by March 13, 2009, and updating it on an annual basis; assisting the CICS officers in developing short-term and long-term strategic plans; and reviewing grant proposals recommended by a peer review committee.

According to the CPUC, the funding for the CICS is $60 million per year for 10 years. The utility has charged the CICS executive director with obtaining 100% matching funds over 10 years in order to maximize ratepayer benefits.

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